Thursday, September 30, 2021

Tops: knit and woven

 It's always fun to make a new dress but really when I analyze my sewing output it's the tops that get the most use. So I decided to dive into the stash and use up both some fabric from the stash and a new arrival. 

First up the stash fabric. This is a cotton and silk blend voile that I ordered from Mood Fabrics maybe two years ago? I was 54" wide so I only ordered 1 yard thinking I would make a summer top. But now that summer is coming to an end I decided to make a slightly more season spanning top. Only slightly, as it is very light and floaty, this fabric is dreamy. 

Pink top 3

And I'm wearing it with my favorite denim skirt made a few years ago. At the time I called it the best skirt pattern ever and it hasn't been surpassed although I just recently bought the Anzu cargo skirt from Waffle patterns which seems like the perfect travel item.

The key to this pattern is a really lightweight fabric, it needs to gather softly in the front and then the neckband is a wide bias piece. 

pink white top front back 

I've sewn this top pattern 3 times now, and there will probably be more. It's from the Burdastyle Feb 2018 issue No. 120, although each time I've made it with very much shorter sleeves. Elbow length sleeves drive me crazy, they always get bunched up inside jacket sleeves. Here's the first version, and the second. 

Burdastyle 2-2018-120 drawing

Pink top 5

It does wrinkle a lot, after being tucked in it was very crumpled but it pressed perfectly. So I guess this is not one of those tops that you start the day tucked in and then change that up later. 

Top Number 2 is something that caught my as soon as I saw the preview for the preview of the June 2020 issue. I love things with square necklines.  You might notice, same day - quick change for blog photos :) 

Green stripe3

I kept looking at this fabric on the Girl Charlee website and finally decided I had to try it plus the price was too good to pass up. The colors are just perfect with my wardrobe. It's a rib knit which I haven't used much, and now that I've worn it a couple of times I will go back and make it a bit tighter around the waist and hem as it's too loose there. 

green stripe T front and back

Here's the pattern image from the BurdaStyle magazine, the pattern is June 2021 No. 108.

Burda knit top
You can see that I didn't do the peplum version (no thank you!) nor the side gathers, I just made it a regular T-shirt. This pattern will go into my "to be remade" file as it's just right for an interesting knit top and I could change the sleeve design to make it more interesting. 

Green stripe2

I'm very happy with how the stripes turned out, I could have done some matching of the shoulder inset piece but I thought it might look weird, and they they would show up as separate pieces. The shoulder piece is at a slight angle anyway.  One fit note I have is that I narrowed the center front part of the neckline by about 1/2"  by pinching out 1/4" on either side of the center front fold line before cutting out. I could just tell that the neckline would be too wide on me as most are. I could even take out a tiny bit more for my next version. 

green stripe matching

And in other news, I am smiling because we are back to in-person classes at Hello Stitch Studio. Although most of our classes scheduled for Oct-Dec are almost full or sold out!  People are ready to get back to doing things and I couldn't agree more. Fortunately we have a very high vax rate here in the bay area as well as people mostly being careful (sensible) about masking etc. So it's just very wonderful to feel some normalcy returning and I hope it stays that way. 

pink top 2 

I do have an online class starting in October, which is Intro to Tailoring: Make your own Blazer. That will be on weeknights Tues/Thurs 6-7:30pm. And it's not pattern specific, so you can use any pattern you would like.

Other than that I'm trying to do some painting projects around my house now that it's not a thousand degrees every day (exaggeration but 110ºF does not make you want to do fix-it projects). We are all crossing our fingers and hoping for a calm fire season - the ones currently burning in N. California are terrible enough but at least in the bay area the air has not been like last year, with the famous orange days. October is actually the most windy month when a lot of fires have started. On a more positive note the Giants are in the race for the playoffs and we are hoping for weeks more of baseball in San Francisco. 

Pink top1

Happy Sewing,

Today's garden photo, these dahlias which grow about 3 feet tall but the flowers are quite small. The color is so nice. I've had almost no blooms on my dahlias this summer and I have to try some different ones next year. 


Friday, September 10, 2021

A different kind of wrap dress: Patrones 423 #10

Almost every month I buy the digital issue of Patrones pattern magazine. While I don't make all that many things I like to look at it almost like a fashion magazine, plus it's on my iPad so always at hand if I want to browse. I still haven't quite figured out their sizing and details for my fit. Their number sizes are shifted slightly from Burda, but with my metric conversions I determined that the Patrones size 40 is pretty much the same as Burda 38, at least in the bodice so that's what I start with. Although I think last winter I made a coat that wasn't quite roomy enough. Like I said - still working out the fit on these patterns. If you want to see my first project with Patrones here's that post from last summer. 

Here's a dress I just made from their recent Issue 423, "Vestidos Faciles" which is "easy dresses" and I can say I complicated it a bit as I didn't quite understand what I was making based on their photos. But it came out well in the end.  

Green dot dress8

By the way I took all these photos in the morning which I usually don't do but we were having a triple digit heatwave and I wanted to get outside before it was too hot. So the colors are a bit all over the place. 

Here's a much better look at this dress on the dress form. As usual with any pattern I did some changes as I went along, and ended up with very long ties, but since it is a lightweight fabric I think it looks ok tied as a bow. The fabric is from Once in a while I order from them and I've been quite happy with the silks and rayons so that's mostly what I look at on their site. 

Green dot dress on form

Here's the page from the Patrones pattern App with their version and the diagrams. I like the red version but since I wanted to try this dress and had this lightweight woven rayon in my stash it was a good match for the pattern. 

Patrones 423 # 10

And now I will confess that I saw that photo of the back and ties held open and didn't really think through on how it would work when worn. In fact I got it all finished and then wrapped it around and it made a big bunch in the center back. After playing around with it for a while I figured the only way it would work would be to go through an opening just like a regular wrap dress, DUH! and then I read the Spanish instructions with a bit of translate help and realized that yes - you need to leave an opening in one side.  

Green dot dress back wrap outside

So that's how it works, the one side passes through the side opening just like any other wrap dress, just that is one wraps in the back. I don't think I've made a dress of this style in a long time or I just wasn't really paying attention. The back V-neckline could have used some interfacing so that it held the shape a little better I think, as it is a bit wobbly. 

green dot dress5

green dot dress tie

Since I really didn't pay attention to the instructions I constructed the whole back, including the tie ends, and then attached the skirt portion with zipper completed to the back bodice. I also constructed the whole front, including skirt, and then sewed the shoulder seams and the neck lining seams. Turned it inside, pressed and under stitched, and then I can fit the side seams as needed once I try it on. This is the order I do most all dresses. 

green dot dr wrap inside view

I turned it inside out on the dress forms so you can see the lining. I used a cotton voile for the bodice as it is the most comfortable for summer dresses, but for the skirt I had a bit piece of rayon bemberg so that  is the skirt lining. I really thought about making a separate half slip instead of attached lining as them I could wear it with other dresses and I still might take the lining off and do that. Maybe next summer!

green dot dress3

There is something about the V-neckline on this dress that I'm not so happy with. I followed the pattern as designed and the V came out very straight, like a triangle, and I prefer a V-neckline to be ever so slightly curved. But probably only I noticed it. And now you, as I have pointed it out :)

For the skirt I also did a bit of cheating, as I had looked at the Patrones skirt pattern pieces and realized they were almost exactly the same as the skirt pieces on a Burda dress I made previously, so I used those.
Here's a quick look at the pattern PDF from Patrones, they are just 9 pages with the pattern pieces overlaid on those, but SO much easier to trace than a magazine as it is just one pattern.

Patrones pdf info

If you want to see the whole Patrones PDF I put a short video here. 

Another sewing detail on the lining is that I don't use the pattern pieces to make a lining for the skirt portion, I just approximate the width, length, and angle of the seaming and then cut out a front on the fold and a back with a seam, and then add to the bodice by folding in pleats as I pin it on prior to sewing. It saves fabric and is quite quick to sew.

green dot dress inside lining

So that's the latest on my almost end of summer sewing. It's getting dark earlier and I think I'm ready to make a jacket or two.  

At Hello Stitch Studio we have in-person classes scheduled starting in September !! So exciting. And as Stacey, one of the owners predicted, they are filling up fast. In fact the first two classes I'm doing which are aimed at beginners are sold out. Whew! I think a lot of people got a little taste of sewing during their lockdown time and are ready to branch out into making their own clothes. Other classes coming up are a Fit Lab, Garment Copying, and then later in the fall a Quilted Jacket class. Plus I am doing a 6-week online Jacket Making class starting in October. Some people have found that the live online classes really work well for their life and schedule (not to mention location as we have people from all over the country).  If you want to get updated on any of these classes I suggest you get on the email list for Hello Stitch and then you will get the class updates. 

I'm not so sure about the color or the polka dots of this fabric, but it is a cheerful dress and I will probably wear it next summer. This year I just got to wear some of the things I made last summer!
Perhaps the bigger win of the pandemic is that I have been cutting my hair - for better or worse for the last 18 months. And I can't see all that much difference from when I went to the salon, so I don't know what that says about my style. Anyway I think I will continue for the time being. More $$ for fabric, right? 

green dot dress4

Happy End of Summer Sewing,

Today's garden photo, a hydrangea that has lived in a pot for more than 3 years and is still putting out these luscious pink blooms. I'm hesitant to move or repot as it is doing so well. 

Pink Hydrangea